A rock garden can be an attractive addition to any landscape design. These quaint little creations have long been associated with Great Britain, a place where the climate demands heartiness and where incorporating rocks into a garden looks natural. However, it is possible to build your own rock garden, allowing an attractive landscaping feature and saving money in the process.
Building a rock garden can be beneficial in a variety of ways. First of all, it is low maintenance, and the plants used do not require a lot of water. You will not have to spend a great deal of time maintaining the garden, and you will not pay for increased water costs. Additionally, a rock garden can be designed so that it is easy to mow around, and it can designed to reduce the space in your yard that needs mowing.
Once you have decided where to place your rock garden (and it can even be on a slope), get rid of all of the plants and debris in the area. You must do more than just remove the tops of the plants, however; it is important that you get the roots out, too. Test the soil to make sure that it is as it should be. You can mix in garden soil, compost, or mulch, if you want, to make the soil richer. If you want, and if you have the time, you can wait a growing season before actually planting your rock garden. This will help you see that you really did dig out any possible encroachments, and to help the soil settle.
It is a good idea to have a general plan of where you want to place rocks and plants in your rock garden. Try to find rocks of different sizes, shapes, and colors. This will make your garden look more interesting. Also, do not place them the same distance apart. They look more natural if they have a scattered look. Decide how many plants you want. If you want lots of plants, space the rocks further apart. If you want few plants, put the rocks closer together.
On flat ground: If you are working with a flat area, start at the inside of the rock garden and work outward. Plan carefully if you your garden is shaped like a circle, or if you plan the rock garden around a particular feature. A map can help you place your rocks and plants more carefully, and help you avoid unwanted placement surprises.
On sloped ground: If your rock garden will be going up a slope, start at the bottom, moving up. Make sure that your rocks are placed so that the widest end acts as a base. You will want to make sure that your rock garden is stable. One idea is to put small rocks on top of large, filling the cracks with soil. Plants can be planted carefully in the cracks for a more interesting look.
Do not put the plants in until after everything else has been properly placed, and then follow the guidance for placing rocks. The best times to plant are in the early fall and the early spring. Choose hardy perennials that will need little care. When everything is ready, you will have a beautiful landscape feature that does not need a lot of work to keep looking nice.